Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Heed Your Words - Children are Sensitive

Everyone has deep hurts close to their heart.  Those things that we never want to examine again.  Those things that we perceived as a child as hurtful.  The fact remains that if we experienced them as adults, most things would have little effect on us.

Here's one that I distinctly remember.  I was about six years old and had the most beautiful (my perception) dress with so many under skirts on it that my arms couldn't be placed close to my body unless I used force to keep them there.  The top of the dress was pink and the bottom was grey with pink butterflies in a felt relief that shimmered in the sunlight.  I was so proud of that dress that during a walk around the neighborhood with a happy heart my arms were swishing back and forth so I could feel the skirts.  Every once in a while I would swish my arms and twirl in a circle at the same time.  I was practicing doing two things at a time at a dare from my brother.  I mastered the feat that afternoon.

It was on that day I discovered it was dangerous to be too happy.  As I mindlessly twirled  and swished I was unaware of the old lady on her porch quietly rocking and watching me with disdain. She was not afraid to tell me I was a bad little girl for wanting to show everyone my underwear. HUH?  No, I was swishing and twirling.  How did she get that I wanted to show my underwear?  My sensitive little girl spirit was instantly shattered in a million pieces, never to fully recover.

I now had no where to show happiness.  I couldn't demonstrate it in my home, for various reasons.  Now I couldn't go outside to be happy either.  This one event altered my entire personality.  I became quiet and withdrawn in all things.  My social skills were stunted to begin with, and they suffered an even worse fate. 

I was the perfect little girl because I was quiet and never gave an opinion.  Fear lived within me 24/7.  My cousins didn't connect with me (on my mother's side) because they thought I was 'perfect'.  No, I was deeply injured.  Those injuries still have not fully healed.  I think they have, then some small thing happens and they surface.  I pray then because I know Christ will fully heal my little girl spirit with time. More time.  These things don't hurt like they use to.  I'm an adult now and can rationalize and forgive.  Too bad forgetting is not in the cards.

If I ran into that same woman today, I would laugh and swish even more, then lift my dress to prove she was right.  Therein lies the difference between an adult and a sensitive little girl.

4 comments:

  1. Oh Angie that story makes me sad for the little girl that was you. Such sweetness and innocence, enjoying your twirly skirts . Very sad that you were hurt by such hurtful remarks. In my mind when I imagine this scene I wish that the nasty old lady recognised the scene for what it was , a dear sweet girl enjoying her pouffy skirt and being so in the moment. Sad that the beauty and innocence of you as a little girl was not recognised and enjoyed for what is was.

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  2. swish & twirl away :-). It takes years to lose the insecurities of our childhood - and how sad that it does. I'm still the socially inept person I was as a teen - not fitting quite in. God heals the hurts, and real friends help bring down the walls that were so carefully stacked up. It's a slow process, but the wall is coming down steadily & surely. Peace. Lynne

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  3. Let me assure you, - I understand what you mean. It is sad and it is touching equally. Those mental injuries in a child´s life will hardly be ever forgotten. This is a reoccuring theme in psychoanalysis and needs so much time and patience.
    It is so very important to strengthen a child and give self-confidence to the child and never, never threaten or impair in any
    way its rights, as the consequences could be serious for the further life of young persons. Yes, you wrote abour a very important theme. Thank you. We should all think about it.

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  4. I can just picture that little girl twirling around in her dress. So many of us have scars from the thoughtlessness or cruel things done or said in our formative years. As I've grown older, it has become more and more clear that learning to forgive is the most important--and hardest--part of this journey. Praying for the very people who've hurt us brings healing and fullness over time. We might remain wary, but as I hoov wrote, slowly the walls come down. I try to remember, too, that over the years when I've been frustrated, angry, impatient, stressed or just plain preoccupied, I've said or done things (however unintentionally) that someone else found hurtful. "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." Those words have taken on greater significance for me in the past few years.

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